I'm not a big "politics" person. I often get my news from Jon Stewart. I already know who I am going to vote for in November. I find myself at an interesting point in my personal and professional life.
Chicago is corrupt. The state of Illinois is in turmoil. And those who stand to lose the most don't have the voice to fight back.
Our neediest of children stand to lose their only access to early childhood education & care. The Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) is in jeopardy. With an obvious $16.6 million cut proposed, the actual devastation comes in at nearly $85 million.
I have no children. My husband & I have been trying for some time to add children to our family, but for the first time, I'm somewhat relieved that we haven't been successful. Not because we're not ready, but because of how evident Illinois' (and the nation's) disregard for early education has become. Let's forget that parents need the child care to be able to work to support their families. I get it. We all have to work, we have bills (and diapers are certainly not cheap). Our children need us to speak up and advocate for their right to quality education. Anyone can babysit. We are paying teachers to teach children so that we can close that ridiculous gap that exists within our socioeconomic groupings.
True, I may selfishly be advocating because my own profession depends on having this funding. We cannot pay our teachers without child care funding.
But how will we look our children in the eye when they're dropping out of high school because we failed them before they even walked through the doors of a Chicago Public School building?
Speak up. Even if you're not from Illinois. Why?
Because this is coming down the pike & is sure to find you and your children. And if you're fortunate enough to shower your children with every thing they need for future success, say a special prayer of gratitude tonight. Somewhere in your neighborhood, there is a family so consumed with today and living paycheck-to-paycheck that they can't begin to see tomorrow.